Shipwreck W.G. Mason in Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary

May 2019

In 1924 the W.G. Mason was dismantled and its steering gear removed and the tug’s enrollment was surrendered as “abandoned and dismantled at Rogers City” in December 1926. The lower bilge is covered in dropped fasteners, broken machinery, steel grating, angle iron, twisted reinforcement bands, and miscellaneous debris and shows clear evidence of burning. The hull and rudder are sheathed in plate iron.


[Video begins to play and gentle instrumental music plays in the background. A diver swims next to a shipwreck. A blue banner appears in the bottom left corner, which displays the text listed below]

Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary is home to around 200 shipwrecks.

W.G. Mason is one of them.

[Video cuts to a black and white image of the W.G. Mason]

Built for ice crushing and heavy towing, the W.G. Mason tugboat launched in September of 1898 out of Port Huron, Michigan.

[Another black and white photo of the tugboat is shown, which the camera pans over slowly]

Weighing in at 99 tons and stretching 84 feet, this tug boat was in service until 1926 when it was dismantled and its steering gear removed.

[Video of a diver swimming next to the shipwreck is shown again]

It now rests 13 feet below the surface in Lake Huron and has become an attraction for divers of Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

[Camera cuts to footage of the monitor shipwreck on its own before returning to clips of the diver]

Dive into the history of your national marine sanctuary by exploring the W.G. Mason wreck and many more.

[Screen fades to black and credits roll. The Earth is Blue logo is accompanied by those of NOAA and the National Marine Sanctuaries, and the website “”. At the bottom of the screen, text reads:

Footage: David Ruck/ NOAA
Archive Photos: Great Lakes Maritime Collection
Editor: Shannon Shikles/ NOAA
Music: Killer Tracks”]